Our Core Christian Values
We aim to foster confidence, delight and discipline in seeking wisdom, knowledge, truth, understanding and the skills needed to shape life. We nurture academic habits and skills, emotional intelligence and creativity across the whole range of school subjects, including areas such as music, the arts, information and other technologies and sport. We also help pupils to understand how to be a good person, citizen, group member, or leader through our comprehensive PSHE curriculum.
As human beings are created in God’s image, then they too can be creative. We therefore recognise the importance of art, design, music, drama, dance, poetry, fiction, and film and ensure that pupils are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum. We also encourage discovery and innovation in the sciences and technology and constructive as well as critical thinking in the humanities.
The Christian value of love is part of the everyday ethos of our school. All members of our school, children, staff, parents and governors are encouraged to value and respect themselves and each other, the wider community and the environment. As they grow in mind, body and spirit, our children have the confidence to be aspirational, independent and creative learners who enjoy their work and achieve in all aspects of their education in the caring, family community here.
At St Mary & All Saints CE primary school, we define spirituality as:
The belief that we are all part of something amazing, something bigger and more than ourselves. In moments of stillness and tranquillity, it reflects who we are at our deepest level.
This belief impacts on how we look after ourselves, love, support and think about others, care for the world around us and give thanks to our God.
Opportunities for prayer and reflection
Every class has its own ‘reflective area’ a space where pupils can go have a moment of peace and tranquillity and think or reflect on what they have learnt or are feeling. They are provided with the opportunity to record their thoughts or perhaps a prayer if they so choose.
Reflection areas help pupils develop a sense of awe and wonder and are linked to our Christian values.
We also have a whole school reflective area which is located in the turret adjacent to the main dining hall. This area is used as a focus for our Christian values and for our definition of spirituality. Children can clearly see our 3 core values and understand how they relate to the other 23 values that are covered in our Collective Worship scheme.
This area also contains a prayer tree – themed according to our key Christian values (Creation – Autumn, Love – Spring, Wisdom – Summer). Children can use this area to reflect and think about issues that impact on their lives, their place in the world, relationships with others and their relationship with God. It can also be used as a place of conflict resolution. Children will be able to write their thoughts and reflections and or prayers on pre-prepared cut outs and hang them from the tree.
At the end of each term, children’s prayers and reflections are handed over to the church for blessing.
Every child from Year 2 and up has their own reflection book. This is a book where children are free to record their thoughts / learning / questions that might have arisen, following Monday’s assembly and subsequent discussions relating to the value of the week. Most classes include time for this in their Guided Reading carousel but it can be done at any point during the week. Reception and Year 1 can have either a whole class reflection book or individual books as deemed appropriate by the class teacher.
Prayer forms a very important part of life at St Mary & All Saints CE Primary School. It is important that children understand the purpose and format of a prayer so that they are able to write and share their own. There are many versions of prayers to choose from.
Children also share the Lord’s Prayer, the School Prayer and their own Class Prayer on a regular basis.
The School Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer are said regularly during acts of Collective Worship.
Useful sources of information
As a school we have been guided by the Church of England’s publication, ‘Church of England Vision for Education’ (Autumn 2016) and the Oxford Diocese, particularly Bishop Steven’s beatitudes, when developing and embedding our Christian ethos.
Please also see our SMSC Policy, which can be accessed through our Policies Page.